'He could have easily come in for a nip': Coyote scare prompts warning in Transcona

A Winnipeg woman is warning hikers to be careful after coming across a coyote that charged at her and her two dogs Wednesday evening.

Avoiding walking from dusk to dawn and carrying a whistle just in case: expert

Tami Dowler was walking with her two dogs Wednesday night when a coyote approached her near the Transcona Trail. (Travis Golby/CBC)

A Winnipeg woman is warning hikers to be careful after coming across a coyote that charged at her and her two dogs Wednesday evening.

Tami Dowler says she was walking her dogs around 9:30 p.m. in a field near the Transcona Trail about 30 metres from a residential road when she encountered the animal.

With her cellphone in one hand and her two dogs on leashes in the other, she started rolling as the coyote approached her. She didn't back down from the animal and shouted at it to get back, but the coyote came closer and at one point charged at her so she raised her voice and yelled at it to back off.

"He could have easily come in for a nip," Dowler said Thursday.

Watch as coyote charges at Dowler:
A Winnipeg woman is warning hikers to be careful after coming across a coyote who charged at her and her two dogs Wednesday evening. 0:51

Dowler estimates the coyote was about three metres away from her and her dogs at one point, and thinks there may have been others behind it in the bush. She's speaking out because she worries about kids who live in nearby homes who might go out in the area: "It could be bad."

She says she's seen coyotes around the city before, but never had an encounter like this.

"It seemed really unusual that this one was that aggressive to take on a person and two large dogs," she said.

The dogs were unharmed during the incident with the coyote. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Dowler did everything right, according to two different wildlife experts.

"She kept facing the coyote, the dogs were on leash and she was able to use her voice to get the coyote to rethink its approach to the dogs," Chris Enright, head of veterinary services at Assiniboine Park Conservancy, wrote in an email.

Act big, don't run: expert

Seeing the coyote get so close was unusual and interesting to watch, said Janine Stewart, human-wildlife conflict biologist with the province's sustainable development department: "That's behaviour that we are concerned about."

She says people should avoid walking from dusk to dawn when predators are active, and can take precautions such as carrying noisemakers or a whistle.

She says coyotes tend to be timid, so people should be assertive and make themselves appear larger if one approaches.

"Those are usually effective in scaring the coyote away," she said.

About the Author

Austin Grabish

Reporter

​Austin Grabish is a reporter for CBC News in Winnipeg​ where he files for TV, web and radio. ​​Born and raised in Manitoba, Austin has had an itch for news since he was young. He landed his first byline when he was just 18. Before joining CBC, he reported for several outlets with work running across the country. He studied human rights in university and holds both a degree and diploma in communications.​ Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca